On The Front Foot: Sky to bring us sub-continental delights...live from Isleworth

Test Match Special are in India, Sky have stayed at home. It is a tale of money, politics and the failure to understand that professional sport only exists as a public spectacle. Shortly before England's tour began, with the relevant broadcasting contracts having been signed, the Board of Control for Cricket in India decided to up the ante.

They asked TMS, the flagship BBC radio programme, for an extra £50,000 and Sky, which has shown every England overseas tour since 1990, for an extra £500,000 to provide studios at the Test match venues. Both assumed they had already paid for this privilege in the original negotiations and both declined the demand for more.

TMS, however, were in a trickier position than Sky. Try to commentate in England from television pictures and they would run the risk of providing a second-hand service. But the BBC could not be seen to be spending more of licence payers' cash on mere cricket.

They did not cough up and are said to be extremely pleased with the outcome. It seems that the Beeb negotiated the radio deal through a third party acting as brokers with the BCCI. The responsibility for the gap in the smallprint lay with the agents, who are believed to have made up the difference.

It means that Jonathan Agnew et al can scrutinise the action first hand. Aggers arrives tomorrow and is most excited, to judge from his tweets on the matter.

But Sky will not be here. The Tests will still be shown in all their glory because they have the rights, but the vaunted commentary team will have to miss out on sub-continental delights and will be commentating via a TV screen in a studio in Isleworth. It is unprecedented and Sky are probably still reeling at the BCCI's chutzpah. But viewers may not see the join. TV commentators always commentate from TV screens. The downside is that they will have to be up at 3am.

Johnny comes good

Much of the excitement about returning to Ahmedabad was to be driven again by the beautifully self-styled Johnny Rickshaw, the slickest rickshaw wallah in the world. Six years ago, he took The Independent all over this city. Ahmedabad born and bred, he looked and sounded like Dean Martin, with that relaxed drawl, easy good looks and a quiff to die for but spoke about cricket with the poetry of John Arlott. Johnny had plans: "I wanna run a fleet of cars with leather seats and big wing mirrors." Dreams, that was all. A call was necessary to Johnny (aka Shaikh Mukarram) upon arrival in the city last Tuesday. "Love to Mr Independent but I've given up the rickshaw business. I'm running a fleet of cars with leather seats and big wing mirrors." Such vehicles being beyond the budget, he offered his brother-in-law, Abbu Akrar, as an alternative rickshaw. Abbu is the most amenable of men, he might or might not know his cricket ("England great team, Pietersen great man") but he is not Johnny.

Yorkshire monkey business

To much glee, some monkeys fleetingly halted play as they ran across the pitch at the Motara Stadium on Friday. It took Tim Bresnan to put it into perspective. "We get them down at my local cricket club all the time," he said. Watch out next time you are in Poplar Street, home of Townville in Castleford.

Tales of terror

It is the 150th anniversary of Terror Turner's birth on Friday. Terror, proper name Charlie, was the first great Australian bowler, the scourge of Englishmen on wet and worn wickets, hence the nickname. He was the second bowler to take 100 Test wickets, three days later than Johnny Briggs of England, in the same match, and he still holds the record for the fewest innings (30) to reach the landmark. After retiring from cricket, sadly he became a banker.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor